Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 76

[June 6, 2024]  My first actual blind date would be at the end of the school year.  I was nervous because this would be a “real” date and my only second date ever.  I didn’t know the young lady, so it was a confirmed blind date.  Both of us were nervous, or at least I was.

It was late spring in Texas, so it was short-sleeved weather but not too hot.  I remember her name, Melanie.  She was wearing a pretty yellow sundress, and I told her so.  I asked her to sit on a bench outside my school to tell me about herself.  She was barely 14, and I was maybe 15 then and a sophomore.  What I didn’t know at the time was that she was in junior high and had been driven to the high school by her dad to meet me for our date.

I got the impression he would like to marry her off.  There were nine kids in their family.  Her dad gave me a firm handshake and a knowing smile.  He said, call me John.  That seemed so odd to me, but I said that I would.  I didn’t.

The good news was the date continued despite our awkwardness.  My 1953, brown and tan, 3-speed Chevy was running rough and slow to accelerate, as it often did unpredictably.  That was often the case with “family cars” and pre-54 automobiles like mine.  And young guys often base their perceived manliness on things they can’t control.  My car was slow, not firing on all its cylinders.  I thought I was somehow deficient in some similar way, too.  I was wrong.

The blind date was okay but not successful.  If the measure of success is a second date, there was none.  Looking back on that date, I can say there were a few memories of note.  We went to a new burger joint called Whataburger and had the foods you’d expect for a fast food place.  I ate French Fries for the very first time, and they were delicious.

When we arrived, my parents were eating Whataburgers with my brother and sister.  Awkward!  How did they know I’d be there?  No other surprises awaited us while out on the date.  Overall, I can honestly say that Melanie and I had a good time.  I know because she told her dad.  When I dropped her off at her house afterward, I was invited inside to meet her family; her mom liked me, too.  When we entered the front door, all her younger siblings came running up to me and put their arms around my legs, all of them smiling.  That was great.

I wouldn’t have another date until college, which surprised my Mom, who might have been worried about my orientation.  It wasn’t Melanie’s fault, that young girl in the yellow dress.  It was me.  My attention moved on to motorcycles and keeping them running, good-paying part-time jobs, reading comic books, uninteresting school courses, and the necessary but dull household chores like feeding the dog.  I was not too fond of that dumb cocker spaniel.

Living in Texas was a new phase in my life.  We were now living in the great state of Texas out West in Abilene, with a vast open country and new things to see and do, as long as you had access to reliable personal transportation, like a car.  There were decent schools, large and well-kept parks, public swimming pools, good libraries, enormous movie theaters, and the best roads I’d ever seen.

Everything in Texas was big and bold and loud and new and exciting.  And some great steakhouses, the best ribeye steaks ever.  My new favorite food was made right here in Texas.  I was starting to like living here.

At some point, my Texan friends recommended I watch The Alamo, a big production.  I saw it at home on our first color television set.  Color was a big step upward, so we watched movies most

Friday nights.  This movie made an impression on me.  My Mom didn’t like us kids watching violent war movies, but she consented anyway.  Later, she admitted that she liked the movie too.

The movie introduced me to big-name Hollywood stars like John Wayne, Frankie Avalon, and Richard Widmark.  They played the heroes and free men of Texas in bold Technicolor fighting

against an evil Mexican army headed by General Santa Anna.  I learned the battle would be a fight to the death and later in the Texas Revolution.  After the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, it would become a rallying cry for the independent nation of Texas.  “Remember the Alamo!”

I took Texas history in school and learned that being a Texan meant being strong, independent, willing to fight if pushed too hard, having pride in their Wild West nature, and the principles of the cowboy code: do what has to be done and talk less but say more.

And I learned to talk like a Texan, “Howdy ya’ll, howz dem cattle getting’ down dat trail?”  I learned I had to slur my words together just the right way and talk slowwwww.  I learned that the Texan pride in their culture is worn on their shoulders.  I learned never to mess with Texans, which was smart.

Texas is also where you can find pretty girls with strong personalities.  You’ll find them wearing jeans, cowgirl boots, cowboy hats, and western belts with a silver buckle and inlaid with turquoise, and sometimes wearing sundresses.  And they might just be “packing,” meaning they’re carrying a loaded handgun on them.  Better not be that sissy, girlie young man who steps out of line with one of these Texas girls, or he might wind up taking the ground temperature challenge.

Would I later date one of these Texan cowgirls?  Yep, I did that.  I met Cory at a soup kitchen during my first semester in college when we were both 17 in the summer of ‘70.  She would be good to me, and we were, as the saying goes, “compatico,” meaning things were good between us.  More about cowgirl Cory and the soup kitchen later.

But Melanie was my first and only blind date, and I would never forget her in that yellow sundress.

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NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/

—————

Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

30 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 76

  1. The Observer

    This is just too funny. A blind date for boy Doug Satterfield.

    Reply
  2. Aussie

    Please write your book, and this series of letters, esp. this one on your blind date in Texas should be at the top. Well done! Cheeers!

    Reply
  3. Chopper

    Hell of a letter. From an old mechanic to a young boy, well done!

    Reply
  4. Willie Strumburger

    I hope that Gen. Doug Satterfield turns these letters to his granddaughter into book format. And then tell more stories not yet told here. I’m sure we all will get a copy, just like we have his other two books. Others have made the same recommendation but I will also jump on board with it. I’m not hawking his books, but merely saying facts. If you want to get a good idea what it takes to be a good person, then read Gen. Satterfield’s books. You will at first be amazed and then you will learn quickly about what it takes to led a full, good life. And these letters to his grandkids are just another peek inside that developing story of Gen. S’s life. Read all the letters again if you want to see his development and what it was like being raised in the 50s and 60s.

    Reply
  5. Teacher_in_OK

    Another beautiful and loving letter to his granddaughter. Wonderful and keeps me reading this website and learning how to communicate and be a better person. If you want more, than just read Gen. Satterfield’s book “55 Rules for a Good Life.” You will appreciate the book. And you will come back here to thank me for the recommendation. Anytime!

    Reply
    1. ijore

      Yep, got the book. Read it two times. Learned more each time I go back to read a section or two.

      Reply
  6. Fred Weber

    One day I hope to have grandchildren to spoil and then send back to my son and daughter-in-law. In those times they are with me, I plan to tell them stories of me growing up. What I’ve learned from these letters published by Gen. Satterfield is that one must make the stories relevant and interesting/entertaining. Without that, younger kids will not be interested and drift away and not like to hear about the stories. And for that reason, if for none other, thx Gen. Satterfield.

    Reply
  7. ashley

    BLIND DATE IN TEXAS — nearly fell out of my chair when I read the title. And the article didn’t disappoint at all. Congrats on getting to letter 76.

    Reply
  8. Janna Faulkner

    Another loving letter to his granddaughter. Now, I have my mom reading these letters and won’t let me have my iPad back until she is done. Thanks a lot. ❤❤❤❤❤

    Reply
    1. Jerome Smith

      Yeah, I get what you’re saying. My friends are now talking about the letters. They’ll forget them in a week or so, but I will always be a fan of them. Gen. Satterfield sure does know how to tell a story. And storytelling is what good folks know how to do. Leadership Toolbox: Storytelling https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-storytelling/ … an article from five years ago.

      Reply
      1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

        It is amazing how what Gen. Satterfield wrote about years ago is so important even today.

        Reply
  9. Valkerie

    We are a year into these letters and they are drawing great comments from all over the world. Why? They give us a glimpse into the life of Gen. Satterfield when he was a small boy and as he grows up. We are now in his younger teenage years. These letters are getting better each time.
    —-
    Hey, and don’t forget this is the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in WWII.

    Reply
  10. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Love your letter to your granddaughter, Gen. Satterfield and thanks for giving us #76 to read and enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Pitts

      It is hard to believe that it has now been over a year of these letter and we are already on No. 76 “Blind Date in Texas.” WOW. Gen. Satterfield you are to be commended for these letters. I think they are just down and right FUNNY. Keep writing them, please. I’m from Arkansas and I can attest to the culture that you are from. I am still attracted to the Southern ways of life today and although I live in Florida, I always go back to visit my relatives and friends I’ve had since childhood. I wouldn’t trade growing up in the south for anything. Why? Because you have experiences like this and where family is the center of your life and God and living a free life. These letters I’m sharing with my family in Arkansas and they have become big fans of them too, just like me.

      Reply
    2. Colleen Ramirez

      Yes, many of us have become addicted .. or is it “hooked” … on these letters to Gen. Satterfield’s granddaughter. On a side note, she is one lucky girl. But I also think these letters apply to all Gen. S’s grandkids, not just one, and I do think he means that too. Like others have said, please continue to write these loving letters and sharing them with us.

      Reply
        1. Xerces II

          More letters = good. Less letters = not so good. So please write more. I can hardly wait for the next letter to “my granddaughter.” Loving and kind and informative.

          Reply
  11. Dale Paul Fox

    The “Blind Date in Texas” … ha ha ha ha …. I love it. I’m no fan of blind date but I do like women. Although they can be too complex overall. The average Joe can make due.

    Reply
  12. Audrey

    Just like I like them. Entertaining letters and informative to boot. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for sharing more information about you growing up in the Deep South and who you had met and loved and appreciated and respected. Your Blind Date must have been one heck of a woman.

    Reply
    1. HAL

      Indeed Audrey, this is one of the key reason I read the letters. I just love them.

      Reply
      1. Nick Lighthouse

        Audrey and others, this is one of the reasons that I read Gen. Satterfield’s website but more important than a bit of entertainment, I find that I can learn about being a better person and in many ways. Just read his book, “55 Rules for a good Life” and you will see what I mean. I do recommend the book because it is FULL of ways to make your own life better. And these letters to his granddaughter gives us the background on how he came up with those 55 “rules.” Read the book and you will find yourself feeling better and being better.

        Reply
  13. Paulette Johnson

    ❤ Great and loving letter to your granddaughter. I’m hooked as a reader of these letters. ❤

    Reply
  14. Emma Archambeau

    AMAZING … I always get a laugh when Gen. Satterfield writes “Letters” like this. On another note and partly unrelated, Jesse Lee Peterson (one of the best commentators on black women) first started saying AMAZING in his interviews. If anyone reading this would like to get more information on him, just read this article “Moral Leadership: Jesse Lee Peterson: https://www.theleadermaker.com/moral-leadership-jesse-lee-peterson/ This is an article by Gen. Satterfield himself.

    Reply
  15. Qassim

    Gen.Satterfield another beautiful letter that makes me nostalgic again.

    Reply
    1. The Toad

      Well Qasso,, I say the same thing. While the modern world has many modern conveniences, there is something to be said about the “old days” and how much better we had it overall. Intact families and church-going, honest people who lived beside you. Today, you had better have a gun to keep the criminals out. Nothing like a progressive ideology to get you and your family killed in America.

      Reply
      1. Rev. Michael Cain

        Yep, got that right. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

        Reply

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